HOW WE SPEND YOUR MONEY
The NPS P&C has three main vehicles for raising money throughout the year. The Uniform Shop is available for the purchase of School uniforms throughout the year, the Fundraising Committee organise events and activities which raise money for the School and the Building Fund Committee run a once-a-year tax deductible call for voluntary contributions towards an item or items which falls within the terms and definitions under which the Building Fund operate (e.g. fittings and fixtures to do with the School’s buildings). In addition, we sometimes apply for external grants.
How do I ask for something to be funded by the P&C?
Members of the community are welcome to bring ideas to the P&C about how you would like to see this money spent. It is important that you understand how proposals for spending P&C money may be made. There are two main channels via which requests to spend P&C funds come to the P&C committee: a request from a member of the community directly to the P&C or a request from the School directly to the P&C. Sometimes, members of the community bring a matter to the School’s attention and then the School brings the matter to the P&C.
If you would like to make a request for money to be spent by the P&C you may simply ask us to consider it (see below ‘How can I get help?’ and ‘How will a decision be made?’). Successful proposals should (at some stage in the process) please consider the following:
- Is my item an item which could be covered by the Building Fund or by general funds raised via fundraising throughout the year? It is important that we think carefully about making the best use that we can of our tax deductible building fund, so ideally items which are fittings or fixtures should be funded via the Building Fund.
- Is my item likely to cost over $5,000? Items which cost over $5,000 are considered “assets” of the School and may require Departmental assets approval. Work in the School will also have to be carried out by approved contractors and there are processes in relation to this which the School must follow. New information about assets approval processes and the role of the P&C in these processes (when an item is solely funded by the P&C) was released in July 2018 and may be found here: https://www.schoolinfrastructure.nsw.gov.au/news/2018/07/asset-management-fast-track-initiative.html
- Most P&C expenditure will require three quotations from suppliers. Some items will require these quotations to be supplied by Department approved suppliers and will need to be managed by the School. It is recommended that you seek help from the P&C in managing the process of getting quotations in order to minimise the potential for doubling up (we may already be seeking quotes for the same proposal) or inundating the busy School with requests for quotations (the P&C can bring your request and requests made by others to the attention of the School all at one time.)The School would prefer requests for items which the P&C may fund to come via the P&C and not be made directly to the School.
- Can I show that others are in favour of committing funds towards this item as well? We are a diverse community with many different interests. We have found, in the past, that proposals which come directly from the School are often easier to agree upon than those that come from individual community members since it is often difficult to demonstrate community support for your proposal.
- Has my item been listed as a request/proposal in the School’s newsletter (see below)? The P&C does not like to fund items retrospectively or without notice being given to the community via the Newsletter.
When is the best time to bring a request to the P&C?
You are welcome to bring requests to the P&C at any time during the year. However, it helps us plan our spending if we hear from you in Term 1 (or even, where possible, in November or December of the previous year) or in Term 3 after our major social fundraising events have taken place. Our Building Fund tax-deductible voluntary contribution request usually goes out to the community in the middle of Term 2 (before June 30). Our major Fundraising event also usually takes place in the latter half of the year, so we have a clearer sense of how much we can spend once this has taken place. In the future, it would be good to hold a formal ‘budget and planning’ meeting at the end and beginning of each term of office. This has not been the practice of the P&C at NPS in the past but it is the practice elsewhere.
How can I get help preparing a proposal for the P&C?
Please don’t be daunted by having to seek assets approval and quotations. If you have something that you would like to see funded, come along to a meeting or write to the P&C secretary. We are here to help and, between us, have some experience in working with the School to get things done. It is important that you feel able to ask and that you feel supported in making your proposal since it is the money you have contributed to the P&C fundraising which is being spent.
How will a decision about my proposal be made?
If you have a suggestion about an item which the P&C could fund then we would seek to share your idea with the rest of community. The best way to do this is to list it as either a proposal or a discussion item in the School’s weekly newsletter. Your item/proposal will then become an agenda item at the next P&C meeting. In many cases, this is the start of a conversation about your item. You may be asked to refine your idea or propose an alternative (cheaper) option. You may be asked how much of your proposal may be achieved using DIY methods. You may be asked to demonstrate that others also support your idea/proposal.
At a P&C meeting people will be invited to speak to your proposal. A vote will then be taken on your proposal. Currently voting is by a ‘show of hands’ rather than by ballot paper. At present, we have no means of taking into account the views of people who are not in attendance at the meeting in which the item is voted on.
What is the role of the School in helping the P&C make decisions about expenditure?
The P&C works closely with the School in making decisions about how the money that we raise can be spent. The P&C routinely seeks input from the School when we receive funding requests from members of the community in order to ensure that requested items meet Department standards and comply with Departmental policies and procedures.
The School is also invited to make requests to the P&C for funds to be spent. School requests for funding may also be listed as items/proposals in the newsletter and will be discussed and voted on in P&C meetings.